Success stories

Cognitive Interviews

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey – The American Community Survey (ACS), administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, is a nationwide survey designed to provide communities with a fresh look at how they are changing. It is a critical element in the Census Bureau’s reengineered decennial census program. The ACS collects and produces population and housing information every year instead of every ten years.

Research Objective

The Census Bureau needed to develop, test, and implement a large number of survey items so it tapped into a consortium of research firms. Eureka Facts, the only small business in the group, was tasked to provide recruitment of participants and testing of Spanish language items.

Research Methodology

EurekaFacts worked as part of a team of nationally recognized research firms (RTI, RSS and Westat) contributing to the design of the American Community Survey (ACS). EurekaFacts helped revise several questions for the ACS and conducted special population recruitment and cognitive interviewing, as well as usability studies to ensure quality of the question design and development. The study was supported by targeting audiences that included a mix of individuals from all ages, gender, races, educational attainment, etc. Multiple data collection efforts included testing of questions among low literacy groups and Spanish speakers. The EurekaFacts team completed this study successfully by meeting project specifications and recruiting and interviewing quotas set throughout various US states. Recruitment and cognitive interviewing was done in both Spanish and English.

Research Impact

New question items and instructions were developed for the 2016 American Community Survey and deployed nationally.


Read the complete reports 

Cognitive Testing of the 2016 American Community Survey Content Test Items Briefing Report for Round 1 Interviews

Cognitive Testing of the 2016 American Community Survey Content Test Items Briefing Report for Round 2 Interviews

Cognitive Testing of the 2016 American Community Survey Content Test Items Briefing Report for Round 3 Interviews


Methods: Qualitative research, Cognitive interviews, Usability studies, Recruitment

Audiences: Low literacy groups, Spanish speakers 

Languages: English, Spanish 

Content Domains: Census Data, Populations, Housing

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